Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Getting started with meatless main dishes

I promised some time ago to share some of my thoughts on meatless meals. This morning I just want to share a few simple ideas to get you started, so here goes:

For a period of time we needed to be very frugal indeed. My husband and I made a decision that we would not eat meat for our main meals during the week, but would only serve meat meals on the weekends when the kids were at home. This was a lot easier than it might sound, and I’ll share some other practical ideas for doing so, hopefully this week.

However, for some time before that I had been serving several meatless meals every week, and the kids never realized it. Here are a few ways I did that:

1. Macaroni & cheese. Many people view this as a side dish and serve it alongside hot dogs or meat loaf. There is plenty of protein in mac’n’cheese. It makes a fine meal all by itself accompanied by green beans and applesauce, or by some other green veggie and coleslaw or a salad.

2. Lasagna without the meat. Whether it’s an actual vegetable lasagna, or just a regular lasagna with the meat omitted, this is loaded with protein and flavor. All you need is a salad and bread.

3. Homemade baked beans. My kids thought homemade baked beans and brown bread were such a treat. They never even missed the hot dogs! With beans, brown bread or cornbread, coleslaw and maybe applesauce you have a great meal.

4. Corn chowder. This inexpensive but very tasty milk-based soup can be served with either bread or grilled cheese sandwiches for a meal that will provide plenty of protein. Some baby carrots or other raw veggie on the side would be a great addition. I often added carrots and celery as well as onion to my corn chowder, too.

So there are just a few ideas to spark your thinking! Hope these thoughts are helpful!


  1. Anonymous2:40 PM

    There are some simple-but-good vegetarian recipes, and list of vegetarian meals, on the Doctor Yourself website (doctoryourself.com). DY is a site that I love, lots of common sense...like yours but with a different purpose.


  2. Thanks! I will have to check that site out.


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